Site of Emma Hamilton’s childhood home, Hawarden

button-theme-womenbutton_lang_frenchbutton_lang_japaneseSite of Emma Hamilton’s childhood home, Hawarden

Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson’s mistress and mother of his daughter, grew up in a thatched cottage which stood here. The cottage adjoined the Fox and Grapes, as you can see in the old photos. It was demolished in 1896.

hawarden_e_hamilton_cottageEmma was born in Ness, Wirral, to Henry and Mary Lyon in April 1765. Henry died two months later and Emma moved with Mary to Hawarden, where her grandmother, Sarah Kidd, lived.

Entering domestic service, Emma worked for a while for Chester surgeon Leigh Thomas at Church House. After moving to London, she found work at a high-class brothel. That led to an affair with an aristocrat, who left her once she was pregnant with their daughter. The artist George Romney painted her many times. Another affair, with Charles Greville, ended when he transferred her to his uncle, Sir William Hamilton!

Emma and Williahawarden_emma_hamiltonm married in 1791. He owned much of the land around Milford Haven and was Britain’s ambassador to Naples, now in Italy. It was in Naples that Emma met Horatio Nelson. Both men and Emma agreed to live together in Naples. Lord Nelson refused to allow his wife Frances to move there.

Over the following years, Lady Hamilton’s relationship with Lord Nelson generated a lot of gossip! They were ostracised by some people, particularly after he separated from his humiliated wife. Emma gave birth to their daughter Horatia in 1801, two years before her husband passed away.

hawarden_emma_hamliton_cottageBefore dying in the service of king and country at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Lord Nelson amended his will to say that king and country must provide for Lady Hamilton in the event of his death. However, her pleas for money were rejected and she ran up large debts trying to maintain her position in society. After being imprisoned for bankruptcy, she moved with Horatia to Calais, where she died in 1815.

Postcode: CH5 3DH    View Location Map

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